Anosov, Pavel

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Anosov, Pavel Petrovich


Born 1799 in St. Petersburg; died May 13 (25), 1851, in Omsk. Russian metallurgist.

Anosov was born into the family of a secretary at the Berg-Kollegiia (Mining Collegium). In 1806 his father was appointed adviser to the Perm’ Mining Administration, and the family moved to Perm’. Anosov’s parents soon died, and he was brought up by his grandfather, who worked as a mechanical engineer at the Kama Works. At the age of 13, Anosov entered the St. Petersburg Mining Cadet Corps (the future Mining Institute), from which he was graduated in 1817. That same year he went to work at the Zlatoust State Works, which had been founded in the time of Peter I. Two years later he wrote his first article, “A Systematic Description of the Mining and Production Processes at the Zlatoust Plant.” This work showed not only Anosov’s broad range of knowledge (the plant included blast furnaces, conversion and brick factories, iron mines, a dam with water wheels installed, and so on) but also his rare ability to generalize and analyze factual material. In 1819 he was appointed inspector at the Weapons Factory; in 1824 he became its manager; and in 1829 he was named director.

In 1831 he began to serve simultaneously as mining chief of the Zlatoust Works. Anosov worked there for about 30 years, rising to the rank of major general in the corps of mining engineers. In 1847 he was appointed chief of the Altai Works, where he worked until the end of his life.

In the Zlatoust region Anosov directed major efforts in prospecting for deposits of gold, iron ore, and other minerals and worked on improving metal extraction and processing. He invented new gold-flushing machines that were widely used in the Urals. He proposed the use of a steam machine to mechanize labor in the gold industry. The first issue of Gornyi zhurnal (Mining Journal, 1825) began with Anosov’s articles on geology.

Anosov’s works on steel production gained universal fame. In 1827 he published his work Description of a New Method of Tempering Steel in Compressed Air, which was followed ten years later by another remarkable work, The Production of Ingot Steel. Anosov proposed a new method of obtaining steel, combining the processes of carburizing and smelting the metal. Along with this he demonstrated in practice that contact between coal and metal is not, as had been thought, essential in carburizing iron. The coal can be replaced very effectively with furnace gases. In this way, gas carburization of metal, which is now common, was used for the first time. In 1837, Anosov remelted cast iron into steel, both with and without an iron additive.

Anosov was the first in Russia to develop the procedure for preparing refractory crucibles, the primary equipment in steel and gold production at that time, which had previously been imported from Germany. This made it possible to decrease the cost of each crucible by a factor of 50.

Anosov did original work on revealing the secret of making Damascus steel, a secret that had been lost during the Middle Ages. Ten years of experiments on alloying iron with silicon, manganese, chromium, titanium, gold, platinum, and other substances and studying the properties of the alloys obtained permitted Anosov to be the first to reveal the secret of Damascus steel. He substantiated the influence of the chemical composition and structure of the alloy and the nature of its processing on the metal’s properties. His conclusions formed the basis of the science of high-grade steels. The results of his work were summarized in the classic work On Damascus Steel (1841), which was immediately translated into French and German.

Anosov was the first to prove that the designs on a metal reflect its crystalline structure and to establish the influence of the so-called macrostructure of a metal on its mechanical properties. He was the first to use the microscope to investigate the internal structure of steel alloys (1831), thus marking the beginning of microscopic analysis of metals. On Anosov’s initiative, successful attempts were undertaken during the 1840’s to produce ingot steel weapons. This procedure was later perfected by P. M. Obukhov.

Anosov was elected a corresponding member of the University of Kazan in 1844 and an honorary member of the University of Kharkov in 1846. A prize and a scholarship in Anosov’s name were instituted in 1948.


Sobr. soch. Moscow, 1954.


“P. P. Anosov.” Syn Otechestva, 1851, no. 12. (Obituary.)
Sergeeva, O. P. Pavel Petrovich Anosov. Moscow, 1950. (Bibliography.)
Peshkin, I. Pavel Petrovich Anosov. [Moscow,] 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.